Common Practices During Spring Break

In the past, residents of the Fort Lauderdale area have become so upset at the damage done by vacationers, that the local government passed laws restricting parties in 1985. At the same time, the National Minimum Drinking Age Act was enacted in the United States, requiring that Florida raise the minimum drinking age to 21 and causing many underage college vacationers to travel outside the United States for spring break. By 1989, the number of college vacationers fell to 20,000, a far cry from the 350,000 who went to Fort Lauderdale four years prior.

Spring break party goers responded by moving to the more permissive community of Daytona Beach area (over 200,000 students traveled there each spring at its peak), but after Daytona’s local government undertook similar measures, the crowds of the mid-1990s and early 2000s had fallen to a point where “a few students still come, but officials don’t even estimate their numbers.” Panama City Beach, Florida remains a popular spring break destination due to its relative proximity to many Southern colleges and driving distances. The locals in Panama City Beach welcome Spring Breakers every year, and is a major factor in the city’s economy. South Padre Island, Texas and Fort Myers Beach, Florida are also popular Spring Break destinations among students from colleges in the south-central and midwestern parts of the country, as well as from the Northeast. One of the biggest in the Southwest, popularized by MTV, is Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

Popular destinations outside the United States include Cancún, Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco, Barbados, Mazatlán, Puerto Vallarta, Jamaica, the Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos Islands and Varadero, Cuba (non-US citizens). Tour agencies have not only cited the lower drinking ages in these places, but also the fact that the drinking ages are poorly enforced. Some Tour Companies put on special chartered flights for Spring Break at discounted rates.

It is common for companies to market during spring break, for instance Coca-Cola, Gillette, MTV, and branches of the United States armed forces.

~ by superbowlnyc on January 30, 2011.

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